Monday, March 30, 2015

Kotobukiya 1/400 Evangelion 13 (updated)

From the moment I saw unit 13 on rebuild of evangelion 3.0 I wanted a kit of it, Bandai released the first 3.0 kits without much success it seems since they're always on sale, I think those are great kits for the price, Unit 02  plastic looks cheap and has little problems with the proportions of the head as we can see on the compassion between it and the Kotobukiya's unit 02 beta, the other bandai kit from this movie was unit 08, wich is amazing if you get rid of the pink, like I did, but after that bandai stoped from doing evangelion kits giving a chance to kotobukiya to shine, and they have released some great looking kits so far but, are they worth the way higher price tag compared to the bandai plastic models?

(Gallery update) you´ll notice the new pics on the gallery by the change of background, I didnt quite like the red background with this model, also I repainted the spears in to a darker red, I wanted to take a few more pics showing that this might be a kit with some problems with articulation, but you can still do some cool looking poses with the help of a stand. The starnd I used is a cheap but versatile Mini MS stand by Hobby Base, good for small or light kits, the Kotobikiya stands I´ve had so far are weak and can´t stand the kits very well, this one, while not very pleasing to the eye, gets the job done.

if youre not into painting all the model, unit 13 is for you, it requires very little paint, some pieces are pre-painted and as always with kotobukiya details are sharp, proportions are great and accurate, and this time around they give you enough polycaps and parts to complete both, the two armed, and the four armed along with two lances of longinus, and some other goodies like seven pairs of hands, Bandai usually gave us like 4 right hands and one or two useless left hands, Kotobukiya never do this they love dual wielding, just as much as I do.

As you can see on some of the pictures you can turn both of the lances into a big spear, assembly is simple and refreshing for the most part, artiuculation is not very good, specialy on the upper part of the legs, the side armor is (anime acurate) too big so it gets in the way allot when posing, also I had to do a few very simple modifications on the torso, to have the right separation between armor pieces.

But lets be honest, everyone who buys this want it because of the four arms.
Changing from two to four arms is as simple as pooping off a piece and popping on another, is very simple, the problem is, posing it and keeping the extra arms from falling.

I'm not sure if this is only on my kit but some articulations like the elbows are extra tight, while most of the kit is wobbly, again, the upper part of the legs, the feet, the torso, the shoulder armor, the extra arms shoulders, the four wrists are loose, making the kit very difficult to pose and to stand, the legs and the extra arms fall off often, again, this might be just my kit. 

If you buy this kit I highly recomend that yuou buy an action base for it, it will help alot, I think for the price, kotobukiya should have included one.

this kit is a looker, kotobukiya improved allot of things from the past evangelion models, it's easy to assemble, the plastic is for the most part, soft and easy to work, sharp details great and accurate proportions, great and easy to work gimmicks but, I can't get out of my mind that this is a pricey kit, and to be honest as great as it looks, and as great as it is designed it doesn't feel like it's worth the price, and even less with a few very basic things like the detail on the torso, a great looking but pricey kit.

oh, and there's this things:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

1/72 VF-1S by Bandai

This series is the latest and greatest variable fighter "Valkire" series ever and was born from the concept of being a Valkire"created using modern analysis technology" under the director Shoji Kawamori. Abundant use of BANDAI's plastic model technology is made to achieve both transformation into the Fighter, Greywalk, and Battroid modes as well as excellent proportions. We hope you fully enjoy this carefully made Valkyrie series that is reborn in 1/72 scale.
This is the text printed at the cover of the box, but, as I builded this model I found out that this is far from the reality...

As you start the build the cockpit is amazingly designed, everything stays in place without too much effort. and you can appreciate the complexity of this kind of kits, but some problems will rise, in terms of scale, the pilot is too tiny compared to other 1/72 models, it's even smaller than the 1/100 pilots I have from other kits.
Another bad thing on the cockpit is the connector for the legs, terrible thing... I'll get to that later.

This kit has excellent quality on terms of fitting, plastic and the way it transforms as complicated as it is, it works, so personally I have no complaints there, it transforms and in jet mode stays together pretty well, that cannot be said for the battroid ( I can't speak for greywalk, I dont like that mode)
I´m not sure if I'm spoiled by Hasegawa and Kotobukiya kits, but after building the Red Five kit, this seems like taking several steps back in almost every way, the details are ok, but not great, and the proportions are terrible.

Something good about this kits how much Bandai have improved the waterslides, I have been very vocal about the low quality decals provided on the Macross Frontier Kits, this time the decals look ok, they fit, don´t fall off or disintegrate, the black is black and not the dark green they used to do, they don't have those big ugly dots, still, not as detailed as Hasegawa waterslides, but still a great and welcome improvement.

Jet mode looks good, not great, most of the problems lie in the hideous Batriod mode.
Proportions are... well it looks wrong, very wrong, bellow you can see it next to it's cooler and "older" brother the 1/17 Hasegawa VF-0,  as you can see, VF-1 is much smaller, we all know that, but, the body is the same size as the VF-0, the head is bigger. the legs and arms are too short and thin.

the articulation is poor, specialy on the legs, the legs connect on the waist by a peg that you insert on the nosecone and then close a little hatch, this hatch opens you remove a piece and insert the pegs of the pieces, this hatch will close extremely tight on jetmode, it will be a little loose on battroid, rendering almost every movement of the legs a difficult task.

Even more terrible and poorly designed than the waist, are the hands, the hands are concealed on jetmode on the forearm, and they are almost impossible to fit in there, also the wrist is a tiny and fragile piece of ABS plastic, you WILL break it after one or two transformations, I actually broke the right hand when I tried to transform it, now it has a metal rod in it.

with his short and thin legs and arms, tiny hands, big head,you wont be able to pose it looking cool, it will look silly, plus, it is so fragile that in your search for a not so bad pose, you might break it. 

Pieces of waterslides will come off as you transform it, as the pieces rub against each other during transformation, so be prepared to do some touch up.

Nice details on the visor

This kit is tiny, bellow you can see it next to the same scale SV-51,

Bellow, next to the 1/72 Hasegawa VF-0S

comparasion between the tiny pilot of the VF-1 and the VF-0

I wanted to love this kit, it brought nostalgia, the VF-1 is the mech which made me fall in love with anime and mechs, but this kit does not makes justice, the mechanisms for the transformation and everything that happens are fantastic, but it highly sacrifices the most important thing on a model kit, looks, Bandai needs to be reminded that this are model kits, not toys, this are not meant to be played with, and they are very fragile, on scale models looks are way more important than gimmicks. poor decisions on the hands, ugly arms, short and thin legs, but the jet mode looks good, it would help if the pilot were bigger and a few more decals to add details.
But at the end of the day this is a kit that I struggle with almost all the way without pleasing results.